Although serving various sentences in prison, the inmates of the Bobo Diolasso prison in Burkina Faso are preparing a contemporary dance piece which they have been practicing for the past five months.
The initiative, “WHY NOT!” is the brainchild of Aguibou Sanou, a Bobolese choreographer and is aimed at bringing dance to inmates in prisons.
Sanou said in a statement that the Why Not! Initiative will work towards bring cultural activity to the inmates and also give them the opportunity to become professional dancers. He added “We want them to learn how to dance, engage in theatrical projects, make music, and also prepare towards their social re-integration after their time in prison”.
Men in the prison have received the initiative with open arms and enthusiasm adding that the experience has also provided them with a huge relief.
‘‘ I feel proud in there because when I come home, there are others who even ask me what you did today. We give them little demonstrations”, one prisoner said.
With months of training and rehearsals, the dancers have put on a show for their fellow inmates who cheered them on and enjoyed the entertainment.
‘‘Some people have been here for a very long time. There are people serving five to ten years in prison, but with this pleasure, I think it’s better. Instead of spending time thinking, if there’s an atmosphere like that, it’s fine’’, another prison inmate said.
The initiative’s founder hopes that the art of dance will provide these inmates a temporary escape from the troubles of prison life.